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Archive for July, 2010

Brandon Adams leaving 790/The Zone


After more than five years at 790/The Zone, mid-day host Brandon Adams is leaving the world of pampered athletes and obnoxious coaches to delve into the equally Byzantine world of test scores, school boards politics and parental demands.

The 33-year-old Gainesville native and University of Georgia graduate said he is going to pursue a masters degree in  educational  administration at Georgia State University.

Teamed with Jeff Woolverton from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays, he put in his notice last week and informed listeners today.

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For eight years,  he was an elementary school teacher and is returning to that profession this fall after two and a half years working full time at the Zone. (He worked part-time as an on-air host on weekends for three years.)

“Doing a radio show was a culmination of a dream of mine,” …

Continue reading Brandon Adams leaving 790/The Zone »

Interview with Jordana Spiro, star of TBS’s ‘My Boys’

t1_spirotbs“My Boys,” a low-key comedy about a female Chicago sportswriter and her poker buddies, has not been TBS’s  make-or-break program. The network is more apt to promote its Tyler Perry properties, George Lopez and now its prized possession Conan O’Brien.

After three seasons, “My Boys” ratings haven’t justified huge marketing expenditures. In fact, it was unclear if TBS was even going to renew the show for a fourth season after last season concluded.

So amiable star Jordana Spiro earlier this year signed on to a new NBC romantic comedy “Love Bites.” But TBS had first dibs on Spiro and renewed “My Boys” this spring for another nine episodes. Given her contractual obligations, Spiro had to drop off “Love Bites” and return to “My Boys,” which debuted its first two episodes last night.

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“I thought, ‘Why not?’ It didn’t put TBS at any risk,” Spiro said in a phone interview earlier this month from an iPhone that …

Continue reading Interview with Jordana Spiro, star of TBS’s ‘My Boys’ »

Jason Ellis likens himself to Jennifer Hudson after his ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ ouster


On the surface, Atlanta’s private chef Jason Ellis comes across as a leader. He’s big, he’s brash, he’s confident.

But on Fox’s reality show “Hell’s Kitchen,” he froze up on occasion, lost focus and got angry at points. He was slow on food prep and his cooking was inconsistent.

At last Tuesday’s episode, with five chefs left, he was targeted for elimination although he was hardly the worst one during service. Nonetheless, Gordon Ramsay cut him.

“Nobody thinks he can actually run a restaurant,” said competitor Holli Ugalde. Jay Santos called him a “home-style barbecue cook,” not a first-class chef.

“Jason was good enough to make it to the final five,” Ramsay said in the final voice over, “but he didn’t instill the confidence I needed to see to be my head chef.”

Ellis said in a phone interview last week that he was working on fumes toward the end and not always thinking clearly. During the final quick challenge to create a great meal for $10, he purchased store-bought …

Continue reading Jason Ellis likens himself to Jennifer Hudson after his ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ ouster »

TV best bets with returns of ‘Jersey Shore,’ ‘Project Runway,’ season finale of ‘Deadliest Catch’


The most buzz-worthy reality show of the past year, for better or worse, has been “Jersey Shore.” And the Situation and his group are back this Thursday on MTV but are wreaking havoc in Miami. The question is: now that the innocence is gone, can they maintain the magic?

On a slightly classier front, Lifetime is bringing back the eighth season of “Project Runway.” In a slightly risky move, the network has increased the show’s length from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. (Longer shows have not hurt “Celebrity Apprentice,” “The Bachelor” and “The Biggest Loser.”)

“The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All” 8 p.m. ABC — Loser/wrestler Justin refuses to confront Ali. Wimp!
“Lie To Me” 8 p.m. Fox — The group investigates a woman’s death at a political rally.
Cake Boss” 9 p.m. TLC — Buddy makes a cake for a 1980’s retro band.
The Closer” 9 p.m. TNT — Pope applies for the police chief job, but Brenda has some power over whether he gets it or not.
You’re …

Continue reading TV best bets with returns of ‘Jersey Shore,’ ‘Project Runway,’ season finale of ‘Deadliest Catch’ »

Interview with Rob Corddry on his new Adult Swim show ‘Children’s Hospital’

80626_rob-corddry-stars-as-dr-blake-downs-in-childrens-hospital-a-new-original-digital-series-for-thewbcomABC’s hit drama “Grey’s Anatomy” became a prime source of parody for actor Rob Corddry when he decided to create the online Web series called “Children’s Hospital.”  He nabbed some name actors (Lake Bell, Megan Mullally, Ed Helms) to join him. The verdict: a funny show featuring doctors playing doctor in front of kids with cancer while making an impressive array of poor medical decisions.

At the time, Corddry figured it would never work on TV. But then Adult Swim came calling. And since Web-only series aren’t exactly a path to financial security, he said yes.

“I love money,” said Corddry in a phone interview last week. “Plus, I hadn’t been aware of of the 15-minute format. I believe if this ever went more than 15, it would stop being funny. I don’t think it could sustain itself much longer than that. ”

[Check out an episode here.]

Here are highlights from the interview:

- Corddry, who broke it big as a correspondent on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” and recently starred in …

Continue reading Interview with Rob Corddry on his new Adult Swim show ‘Children’s Hospital’ »

New ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ cast member Cynthia Bailey getting hitched Saturday


Nobody knows yet if new “Real Housewives of Atlanta” Cynthia Bailey is a keeper in terms of reality show appeal.

But, hey, at least she’s getting married – unlike many of the existing cast mates.

Her publicist Tolu Okunowo at Good Buzz Public Relations sent out this breathless release just moments ago:

Model Cynthia Bailey, one of the newest cast members of Bravo’s hit reality television show The Real Housewives of Atlanta, will walk down the aisle tomorrow night right here in Atlanta and the wedding ceremony and reception will be filmed for the upcoming third season of the hit series. Invited guests include all the current Atlanta housewives and the other new cast member for this upcoming season; actor Leon Robinson from “The Five Heartbeats” fame; R & B star Brandon Hines and a host of other celebrities. Lucky invited wedding guests can expect a lot of surprise performances by all of the celebrities at the reception. And, of course, with NeNe, Kandi, Lisa and Sheree …

Continue reading New ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ cast member Cynthia Bailey getting hitched Saturday »

Appeals court deems FCC’s indecency rulings ‘unconstitutionally vague and chilling.’

20080624_george_carlin_7_dirty_wordsGeorge Carlin must be chuckling in his grave.

The late stand-up comic in 1972 made an entire routine about seven words you can’t say on TV. In 2010, broadcast networks still avoid them. (If you don’t know them, they aren’t hard to find on the Web.) Yet for years, they have been battling the Federal Communications Commission over hefty fines the agency has doled out for airing obscenities since the Janet Jackson Super Bowl imbroglio of 2004.

Earlier this month, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected FCC’s indecency regulations as “unconstitutionally vague and chilling.”

The point of contention was primarily accidental utterances of, say, the F-word by celebrities such as Bono and Cher during live awards shows. In recent years, most (if not all) of that has been resolved by judicial use of a delay, allowing censors time to mute naughty words.

Broadcast networks have always had “standards and ‘practices,” a moving target that still keeps breasts pixelated and many bad …

Continue reading Appeals court deems FCC’s indecency rulings ‘unconstitutionally vague and chilling.’ »

Natasha Bedingfield visits Star 94, Hotel Indigo

Natasha vertical eyes closed

British pop star Natasha Bedingfield stopped by Hotel Indigo last week for a private performance for Star 94 fans to promote her new album and a special Hotel Indigo promotion.

Through Aug. 15, the Hotel Indigo chain is seeking advice from local residents of various cities to identify the best places for visitors to get to know a town, be it a restaurant, a bar, a nightclub or park. You can sign up at the Local Knows Best Web site.

Winners will get a personal concert in New York with Bedingfield, who has several hits under her belt including “Unwritten,” “These Words,” “Love Like This,” and “Pocketful of Sunshine.”

Her latest single for her upcoming new album “Touch” just came out.  Her acoustic set for Star 94 at Hotel Indigo in Midtown featured most of her hits and her sweet vocals proved she has no need for Auto Tune at all. After meeting with fans, she recorded promos for Star 94 with incomparable cheer and spoke with me for a few minutes. She noted with amazement how …

Continue reading Natasha Bedingfield visits Star 94, Hotel Indigo »

The transition continues: Channel 2 Action News’ John Pruitt cedes 11 p.m. to Justin Farmer

14152322In one of the most gradual transitions in local broadcast TV, the sturdy duo of John Pruitt and Monica Pearson on Channel 2 Action News has been shifting to the new generation of Justin Farmer and Jovita Moore.

The latter pair already handle the 5 p.m. hour. Earlier this month, Pruitt passed the 11 p.m. torch to Farmer. Pruitt and Pearson now only anchor together during the 6 p.m. newscast.

Both Pruitt and Pearson have said they plan to retire soon, though Pearson’s departure isn’t set until 2012. Pruitt has not given an exit date yet.

Pruitt and Pearson have anchored together for 16 years, with a combined 78 years in Atlanta local news. Pearson started in 1975; Pruitt, who has worked at WSB and NBC affiliate WXIA-TV, began his career in 1967.

Channel 2 Action News is the top-rated newscast at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.

News director Marian Pittman sent me this email about the shift.

After 41 years on a night shift, John wanted his evenings free.  He is an extremely …

Continue reading The transition continues: Channel 2 Action News’ John Pruitt cedes 11 p.m. to Justin Farmer »

‘America’s Got Talent’ going on tour

images“American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” have successfully parlayed their telecasts into stage shows.  What took “America’s Got Talent” so long?

The honchos of this summer’s most popular show has finally decided to cherry pick its best acts and send them on the road.

In Atlanta, the show will be November 6 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Jerry Springer, a former host of the TV show, will host the road show and the winner of this season will certainly be there.

Tickets go on sale Friday, July 23 at 10 a.m.

Continue reading ‘America’s Got Talent’ going on tour »